Posts Tagged 'Energy'



Is this what the UK government is pinning its energy generation hopes on?

For those who do not watch the American TV series ‘Revolution’ on Sky, the image above won’t mean much (*see bottom of this post for a brief explanation – no spoiler).  But those who do will understand this dismissal of the UK government’s increasingly unhinged energy policy and wishful thinking for keeping the lights on.

In an ICM survey of more than 2,000 people carried out in the UK for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 64% of respondents said they were worried about the prospect of power cuts, and 93 percent said they are concerned about higher gas and electricity bills.  Their concerns are entirely justified.

But what is both striking and disturbing is the language used by a spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change when asked to comments on the findings.  They are reported as saying:

The U.K. energy system is, by international standards, extremely resilient.  We are confident that the reforms we’re introducing, the cross-party support they enjoy, and the interest we’re seeing in the market, will mean the lights stay on for the long term.

The official response of the responsible government department only claims they are ‘confident’ the lights will stay on, not that ‘the lights will stay on’.  That should set alarm bells ringing – assuming there is sufficient power for them.

As for being resilient by international standards, perhaps when compared to Tanzania and Nepal it is today.  But thanks to the insane environmentalist-driven policy agenda being pursued by the government, which is shutting down reliable energy generating capacity and only replacing it with vague ambitions, hopes, platitudes and unreliable wind turbines, in years to come there will be less of a distinction.

There is also a reference in the Bloomberg story to government plans for new generators and grid upgrades, which leads us into a whole other dimension, the flaws about which have been rehearsed elsewhere in months gone by.  But in the context of the current focus the issues and possible solutions are worthy of revisiting, which we will do here later.

* I won’t spoil the plot for those who might decide to buy the Revolution box set in the future, but the plot line is that in a single event, all electrical power across the world has been turned off, but mysteriously when in close proximity to one of the pendants the any item with electrical circuitry works again.

The Benefits of Smart Appliances

If you were worried this would be some geeky piece extolling the virtues of ‘smart’ fridge freezers, ovens, washing machines etc, then you can relax.  The benefits of smart appliances are not designed for consumers, instead they are designed for the convenience of the political class and corporate interests.  Richard puts it into context on EU Referendum.

Having long peddled the lie that renewable energy is the answer to this country’s energy needs, under a new order where the establishment has declared war on hydrocarbons as part of its deranged obsession with fighting climate change, the reality can no longer be contained.

The future of this advanced industrialised nation is not one of continuing progress – save for the corrupted definition of the word which means the diametric opposite – rather it is being structured to bring about the end of energy supplied on demand at the flick of a switch.  Under the new order control over how power is used is to be shifted to the corporations with power being rationed when the dangerously inadequate energy generating solution, pursued and implemented by the politicians, cannot deliver sufficient electricity to meet our needs.

America’s leaders are taking advantage of its shale gas to power its economy and drive down prices. China’s leaders are building a coal fired power station a week to power its economy and support its growth.  Germany’s leaders (inspite of EU strategy) is turning away from nuclear and building a raft of new coal fired power stations to power its economy and ensure adequate supply for the needs of its population.  Even Japan is starting a new dash for coal as part of its efforts to reduce reliance on nuclear power and still ensure affordable and adequate energy supply for its people and meet the needs of its people.

And the the UK?  Well, our political class, convinced within its self reverential bubble of its virtue and righteousness, is shutting down coal fired power stations despite there being no replacement for the lost generating capacity, is pursuing an approach that constrains exploration and exploitation of shale gas, is driving up prices through rising charges for carbon, and has a ludicrous strategy of building of inefficient and intermittant wind turbines at huge cost that cannot come close to meeting our energy needs or servicing industry.  To make this work they have a master plan.  Rationing power and controlling what energy private citizens can use in their homes by rolling out smart applicances and dressing these up as being of benefit – and charging us billions of pounds to make it happen.

Welcome to your progressive future.

Important question – If this is such a problem for Cameron, why isn’t this a problem too?

On Friday night the Telegraph ran a story about David Cameron’s comments to a group of factory workers in Wales, about food prices being increased to subsidise cheaper alcohol, explaining:

The Prime Minister claimed that “a family with a reasonable drinking habit” was “actually subsidising the binge drinker” because supermarkets were increasing the price of food to fund cuts in the cost of wine, beer and cider.

Tim Worstall challenges this by asking, ‘Even if it’s true, so what?‘  But there is a much more important question that should be asked.  If that increase in cost, to subsidise a real terms benefit to a minority of people who don’t need it at the expense of the majority, is such a problem for Cameron then why aren’t we reading something like the following in the papers…?

The Prime Minister claimed that “a family with reasonable energy consumption” was “actually subsidising super wealthy landowners and profitable renewables companies” because energy providers were increasing the price of electricity and gas to fund excessive tariffs that are paid for energy which is generated by wind and solar power.

If it is so outrageous and unacceptable for binge drinkers to benefit from food price subsidies footed by responsible ordinary consumers, why isn’t it equally outrageous and unacceptable that a small cabal of opportunist subdidy farmers benefit from artificially high tariffs for energy, also footed by responsible ordinary consumers?  If he feels so minded to have a cause, then why isn’t Cameron focussing on something almost identical that costs families significantly more money each year?

Perhaps the problem is that Cameron is a stinking hypocrite who not only exhibits the worst kind of moral equivalence but is also in thrall to environmental lobbyists; not to mention a band of influential wealthy people who play host to lucrative wind turbines while gifting money to fund his rapidly shrinking party.

Fracking ‘eck! Is shale gas about to take off in the UK?

The Independent understands that Ed ‘Turbine’ Davey, the Energy Secretary, will soon end the current moratorium on shale gas production, which was put in place after fracking caused two small earthquakes near Blackpool in 2011.  His decision will pave the way for a significant increase in shale gas exploration, says the Indy.

This is a turn up for the books and one wonders if Davey’s opposition to exploration for shale gas is being marginalised within government.  In May, Davey told the House of Commons that at a seminar in 10 Downing Street with ‘experts in the shale gas industry’  the ‘experts’ were clear that it would take some time for shale gas to be exploited in the UK and that the shale gas reserves in the UK are not quite as large as some people have been speculating.  If that is the case then pressing ahead with shale exploration seems a curious development.

The identities of the ‘experts’ remains a closely guarded secret and our Freedom of Information request to the Cabinet Office, for details of the attendees, has met with the same door slamming response the BBC gave to Tony Newbery when he sought the identities of the ‘best scientific experts’ who advised the BBC to report in biased fashion about climate change.  The only thing we know for certain is that the only company currently exploring for shale gas in the UK, Cuadrilla, were not invited to the Downing Street chinwag – something of a curious decision.

Could it be that we are seeing a glimmer of common sense dawning in Whitehall?  The signs look good because if Greenpeace are rattled by what they have learned from the response to their FOI request it can only mean something that undermines their Agenda 21 inspired attempt to de-industrialise the UK and drag us back into the stone age is in the offing.  Here’s hoping!

Wind power? What wind power?

It has fallen below freezing outside Mind Towers, ice is covering the car windscreens and the central heating has been turned up. No doubt families up and down the country are having to use more energy to offset the cold.

So now is a good time to take a look at how much power wind turbines are contributing to the UK energy supply after the billions of pounds lavished on them…

1.2% of all the energy being generated!  Money well spent, eh.

But don’t worry.  Our brilliant political class has declared there are many more of them to be installed at crippling cost to consumers, to stand virtually idle just when we need power the most, on freezing nights like tonight.  Sheer bloody genius.

Thank God we still have some coal fired generating capacity to shoulder the burden of our power needs.  In years to come though…

Energy Bill published… and in our supposed democracy, the media and the people sleep on

The big news this week? Many of you may think it is the floods across the country. Others will believe it is the Leveson Report. Others may feel it is the Common Purpose inspired Rotherham foster child scandal.

Of course, it’s all subjective. But for this blog the biggest news this week – and indeed for many months – is that which will have the widest reaching and most harmful effect on the vast majority of people up and down the UK. Only, assuming our glorious press is capable of understanding the story in the first place, you won’t have read much about it in the papers or seen it on the news because the press is too busy doing exactly what the political parties do… navel gazing and considering its self interest. That is why they are in such convival company among the establishment.

The story? Why, it’s the Energy Bill of course. It’s huge (that applies as much to the draft legislation as to what drops on your doormat) it’s sexy, it’s loaded with scandal and dodgy dealing, it has the capacity to run for months on end and it’s underpinned by faustian pacts. But barely anyone is giving the Energy Bill, the ream of additional information about it, the coverage it deserves.

It will only get the coverage it deserves, and the politicians will only come under necessary scrutiny and pressure, when people see the cost of heating their homes and having the lights on continues to spiral, and rota disconnections via smart meters remotely cut the power to our homes despite lofty pledges to keep the lights on.

The politicians will follow the usual response format. First they will blame wholesale energy prices for the increasing cost of consumer energy. Then they will prattle on about people needing to shop around for the best deal, where the major energy providers (British Gas, E.ON, nPower, Scottish and Southern, EDF and Scottish Power) provide tariffs ranging from high (which people opt for as the cheapest available option) to ludicrous (knowing hardly anyone will opt for them it makes the high tariff look comparatively good value). Soon that bolt hole for the Westminster morons will disappear when the range of tariffs becomes limited by law thanks to a typically brainless Cameron piece of policy making on the hoof. The effect of this will be the lowest available prices actually increased and the cartel able to lock in their existing customer base as there will be no benefit to changing provider with barely a cigarette paper between the prices each of the big six set.

But it is the politicians who are to blame.

It is the politicians who are, with puppy-like timidity, executing the policies and direction handed down to them by unelected, unaccountable and largely unknown bureaucrats and activists operating with impunity within the structures of the United Nations to make the supposedly voluntary and non-binding Agenda 21 (sustainable development) a reality.

Rather than map out in detail here how the vicious Agenda 21 objectives (which this UN document explains without any mention of the word voluntary) are designed to force people to reduce energy consumption I humbly recommend this post by Richard at EU Referendum, who has been painting the bigger picture and connecting the dots on this massive story for a long time and continued with that effort yesterday.

The Agenda 21 objectives drive up prices by reducing supply. That is why industrialised nations are decommissioning effective and reliable energy generating capacity and replacing it with ineffective, unreliable and intermittent sources that are only economically viable if people pay grossly inflated charges – and behind the scenes billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is forked over in direct funding to the land barons and subsidy farmers who get rich in return for a product that isn’t fit for purpose.

The same objectives are responsible for driving an insane approach to water supply, where the focus is on restricting our use instead of building more reservoirs to negate the need for supply interruptions and hose pipe bans. All of it done out of the sight and beyond the reach of voters, but we all feel the effects. And with a typical inversion of the reality, using techniques embraced by totalitarians the world over, Agenda 21’s corruption of ‘sustainability’ is portrayed in images and logos as a something wonderful.

The media would rather focus on the cult of celebrity and their own narrow interests. If it were not for a few determined people fighting to be heard on the internet we would know nothing about this. That’s why the majority of the people in this country continue to sleep on in ignorance – indeed in places like Croydon North, Rotherham and Middlesbrough, they even continue to vote for the slime representing the very political parties who are carrying out this spiteful agenda.

Wind power – missing when needed, harmful where produced

It’s another chilly day across the UK with temperatures not getting above 8C/46F.  Being a weekend the demand for power from business is reduced, however the demand for power from residential customers who are at home rather than work, is higher.

So what is wind power contributing to our energy mix right now?

3.3% of our energy generation is currently being satisfied by the thousands of wind turbines installed at huge cost and made feasible by billions of pounds of direct taxpayer subsidy and feed in tariffs that increase our energy bills.

The inescapable fact is when the wind doesn’t blow, the turbines produce no energy.  We could have 500,000 turbines across the country, scarring our landscape and decimating our disposable income, and our energy needs will not be satisifed unless the wind blows.  That’s why we pay even more money for conventional power stations to ‘back up’ wind power, which only the utterly deluded could ever consider to be capable of providing our baseload energy generation.

Added to this we now have a report in the Barclay Brother Beano by Andrew Gilligan of the first full peer-reviewed scientific study of the problem of wind farm noise causing “clear and significant” damage to people’s sleep and mental health.

The more that people look in detail at the flaws of wind power, the more ridiculous government (both EU and national) policy looks.  We are at the point when people must robustly question just why the political class is pursuing this direction, in spite of the rapidly growing body of evidence showing how wasteful, ineffective and damaging wind turbines are.  Elsewhere in the Beano, their diamond in the rough – Christopher Booker – believes the consensus on wind power is cracking.  But much as I respect Booker that is not an assessment I share.

There has to be a reason why the wind agenda has advanced this far; and as the public interest is clearly not being served (spiralling cost and negative health impacts) one can only conclude the interest of the political class is being put first.  Regardless of the comments of John Hayes, they are not going to give that up while they retain the ability to spend our money as they see fit. As Gilligan says in his article about the effects of wind farm noise, the EU will shortly begin work on a new directive which may impose a binding target for further renewable energy, mostly wind, on the UK, to be met by 2030.  It is inconceivable this would see a reduction in wind turbine proliferation or the staggering amounts of our money doled out by governments to opportunist subsidy farmers.

Those who should be servants are again treating those who are supposed to be masters with contempt, while picking their pockets.  In a democracy this could be stamped upon by people power.  But as more people are at last realising we don’t live in a democracy.

Wind power reality bites again

image

After the recent puff about a record amount of wind power being produced in the UK, it’s time to return to reality. The image above shows the contribution wind is currently making to the energy generated to meet demand across the country.

After the vast sums poured into wind via subsidy, rising electricity bills and excessive feed-in tariffs, the return on a cool day with greater power needs is minuscule. We could increase installed wind capacity by a factor of 10 at huge cost and still barely register wind’s contribution to the energy supply on days like this – of which there are many just when demand increases because of the colder and darker days and nights.

Coal is currently stepping up to keep business and residential lights and heating going. But what will happen when coal is phased out? Get the candles and Calor gas ready as rota disconnections take centre stage.

The latest band of wind turbine rebels

In Cleveland, North East England, a group of residents from Marske, New Marske and Saltburn have joined forces to oppose the installation of eight wind turbines across several local sites, according to a story covered in the Evening Gazette.

This story stands out from many others because underlines the dash for cash that keeps the uneconomic wind industry on life support.  Firstly it tells readers the agent acting on behalf of the developer, Empirica Investments Ltd, is working for the West Midland Metropolitan Authority Pension Fund – a body committed to making a lot of money for members.  Secondly it also carries a nail-on-head quote from a local councillor, Dr Tristan Learoyd, that defines this money train for what it is:

Local people are united in their opposition to the proposal. I am a lifelong environmentalist, but these projects aren’t about climate change. They’re about a few people making fast cash from government grants.

The Gazette story, which has attracted a handful of comments that are universally hostile to the collection of turbine planning applications, also mentions that a leaflet circulated in the area by EDF Energy has left residents questioning the need for the eight turbines given that a previously approved 29-turbine offshore Redcar wind farm was pitched as catering for all Marske and Saltburn energy needs.

The money train is used as a hook in the marketing material published by Empirica Investments.  It is of course a staggering coincidence that at the exact time this story makes  headlines in the area, Empirica are in the process of redeveloping their website.  But Google’s graphic cache of the pages of Empirica’s website, pre redevelopment, enables us to see how they lure landowners into having turbines sited on their land, so both they and the parasitical Empirica can make money from our taxes and energy bills.

For those who cannot make out the text it reads:

Offering to the landowner

The attraction of the Empirica Investments offering is for the landowner to receive income from their land at no cost to them.

As Empirica receive the tariff from the Government backed Feed in Tariffs, the income is underwritten by Government policy and is not subject to the volatility of the wholesale energy markets.

The landowner will share in the total income received from the electricity generated from the wind turbine in exchange for leasing their land, without the risks attached with developing the project.

Typically we are seeking sites for the installation of a single turbine, however in certain circumstances we can look at multiple installations and possibly the installation of a different size or model of turbine.

We adopt a bespoke approach to any deal with landowners, however our standard terms offered for suitable site criteria are based upon the following […]

These are government facilitated parasites, hoovering up money from our pockets via our taxes and energy bills for the installation of an unreliable technology that we have shown contributes a negligible percentage of our energy when the energy is needed most.  But the target of our ire must be the bureaucrats and politicians in Brussels and Westminster who have imposed this corporatist scam on us.  It is legalised theft, a forced redistribution of wealth from those who often can least afford it, to those who already have significant resources.

Wind energy generation – Our money at work

It is currently -5C (23F) at Mind Towers according to the weather station at the local airfield, and falling at a rate of 1.6C per hour.  The wind supposed to be coming from SSE, but is currently showing as 0.0 knots.

Be it directly through our tax pounds, or by proxy via the charges loaded on to our energy bills as part of the Renewables Obligation, the hundreds and hundreds of millions of pounds poured into wind turbine subsidy and feed-in tariffs is delivering next to nothing to the energy supply, because the wind is next to nothing – barely 4% of the official figure for installed wind generation capacity and providing 0.4% of current energy being generated in this country:

It cannot be repeated frequently enough that the government’s obsession with wind power is an obscenely expensive folly.

While Germany talks a good renewables game, it quietly does what is necessary to provide the energy needed by its people and its industry by investing heavily in new coal-fired power.  Just look at what Germany has been building while Cameron and Huhne have been tilting at windmills.  Conversely, our politicians are so blinded by the CO2 bogeyman they ignore 200 years’ worth of domestic coal reserves and put their faith in intermittent and unreliable natural phenomenon.

Germany’s government is putting Germany’s interests first.  Our government is advancing someone’s interest, but it is not that of the British people.  When will people sit up, take notice and declare ‘enough’?

Update: At 9.40pm it is now almost -8C (17F) and wind is now generating even less, a meagre 120MW of power, or 0.3% of the current energy generation.

Taking the wind out of their sails

It’s another cold one in the UK today, with temperatures barely getting above 5 degrees celsius (41F) on mainland Britain.  And as Richard North points out on EU Referendum, coal fired power is providing most of our energy.

But the real story here is that at 11.30am, wind power was providing just 51 megawatts of energy.  That means wind is contributing a derisory 0.1% of the UK’s current energy.  Since Richard posted his piece, it has got even worse as you can see below:

At a measley generation of just 45MW wind power is contributing virtually nothing to the grid.  This is what we get for £400m per annum on top of the money that has been lifted from our pockets to facilitate the installation of the turbines.

While the wind generation companies are getting rich soaking up huge amounts of our money and the politicians are busy supping the kool aid,  the turbines are failing to make energy exactly when we need it.  But this is no surprise to those of us who have long argued against the – there is no other word for it – insanity of increasing our reliance on wind as part of the energy mix, at gigantic cost.  It is the politics of delusion.

It seems to have only recently dawned on some MPs that this fetish for wind energy is not only fundamentally flawed by incredibly damaging.  But as Richard points out elsewhere, even this recently acquired awareness is tempered by a startling lack of knowledge:

But, if these 101 Dalmatians MPs are so concerned about consumers having to pay subsidies, why are they only talking about in-shore turbines, when off-shore windmills get twice the amount, and are set to take the greater proportion of the subsidy pot?

Lavishly paid, well expensed, and deeply immersed in the trappings of imagined power, even when they grandstand to give the impression of heading in a worthy direction they still manage to demonstrate their ignorance of the situation they and their predecessors have dragged us into.

Turbine power has Gone With the Wind

In April 2011, the UK’s total installed wind power capacity was 5,204 MW.

As of 3.30pm this afternoon, with the temperature around the country varying between 2 degrees and 6 degrees celsius and most people at home using power to stay warm, those wind turbines were delivering less than 11% of their stated capacity, contributing a mere 1.3% of the UK’s energy supply.

Is there any more clear a demonstration of the folly of the government’s plans to spend billions of pounds adding more wind capacity, when it cannot come close to replacing the amount of energy generated by coal-fired and nuclear power plant that will be decommissioned?

What compounds this folly is that additional gas-fired power will have to be built just to act as back up for the wind power on days like this.  There is no economic sense to paying twice to install capacity, particularly given the extent of taxpayer subsidy being devoted to wind turbines to make them more ‘affordable’ – code for helping generators make money from them at our expense.

If this doesn’t convince those who favour wind of their nonsensical folly, what will?

When the North Wind doesn’t blow

It’s a cold morning here in the UK.  The need for energy increases and of course, for those who can afford to, the heating gets turned up.

All too often on frigid days like these the wind tends to drop away.  Driving past a wind farm this morning proved the point as all could see the turbines were barely turning – most likely they were consuming power to turn the blades so as to prevent the mechanisms from freezing up.  So it seems an appropriate time to see just how the energy needs of the UK are being met and what energy generation sources are deliving the required power.

Those who are transfixed with the emission of carbon dioxide helpfully assist us in tracking the power that is being generated, with a smartphone application.  This is a screenshot of it (updated shortly after 09:30).

And it clearly shows the unreliability and intermittent nature of wind power, which a short while ago was contributing less than 1% of the UK’s power needs.  Despite the billions of pounds of ‘investment’ and the determination to bring about a renewables revolution to reduce our reliance of fossil fuels, when power is most needed, the turbines are failing to deliver.  This is not a one-off example of such a failing.  In the US last year, during hot weather when power is sought for cooling systems and fans, wind wasn’t there when it was needed.

This issue comes to the fore against the backdrop of a report apparently from the pressure groups Unlock Democracy (UD) and the Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE) – which includes the likes of E.On and Scottish Power – that declares the decision to accept new nuclear power stations is corrupt because it was made without all the evidence being presented to Parliament. The report argue that far from the lights going out in the future, enough energy saving measures can be realised to negate the need for new nuclear and that the costs of nuclear power will be far higher than other generation methods.

While the groups claim they are neither for nor against the decision to have new nuclear capacity the report is clearly biased against nuclear, as its authors Ron Bailey and Lotte Blair are both prominent campaigners for the group No Need for Nuclear (NNfN).  Indeed, a look at the NNfN website shows it is actually their report and it has simply been published on their behalf by UD and ACE. Nothing like a bit of transparency, eh?

Unsurprisingly these people ignore the fact that nuclear can provide the most reliable baseload energy – and will be needed to do so as coal fired power stations are closed down without being replaced, increasing population drives up energy demand, and more technology increases the need for electricity – while on far too many days of the year wind power contributes virtually nothing to the grid.

Energy saving measures cannot do nearly enough to prevent an energy gap emerging, and wind power is shown yet again to be an expensive folly that empties our wallets in return for providing a miniscule fraction of our energy needs.

Energy policy chickens coming home to roost

The negative effects of the dash for gas, to pick up the slack for poorly performing renewables, didn’t take long to kick in did they?  The failure of successive governments to develop new nuclear generation is writ large.  The people paying the price are the likes of you and I.  Meanwhile the renewables speculators get rich at our expense with their lavish subsidies, even though the output will have a marginal impact on energy supply in this country.

On 7th December last year, this blog mused on the great energy delusion, observing that:

After all, renewables are supposed to become our baseload power source if you believe the idiots in Westminster who are bought in to the power generation revolution. It’s easy to say that gas fired power stations will pick up the slack, but the dash for gas is forcing the price upwards as demand from China to western Europe is on the increase. While we are able to get gas from Norway we will increasingly be relying on gas from Russia and the middle east to meet the energy gap created by unreliable and over rated renewables.

Today we have British Gas announcing it is hiking its gas prices by an average of 18% in August. Why? Although these comments were carried on BBC radio the BBC web report leaves out some key details, so we defer to the Evening Standard for the full explanation:

British Gas said wholesale prices had increased by 30 per cent since last winter because of “increased gas consumption in Asia and the impact on supply of unrest in the Middle East and North Africa”.

Managing director Phil Bentley said: “We know there is never a good time to raise prices, but we are buying in a global energy market and have to pay the market rate.”

But what of our wind turbine adoring Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Lhuhne?  As always, he is off in the land of make believe where he is seeking to distance himself from the consequences of the policy he supports:

I refuse to stand by and watch this happen.

The UK electricity market has to change so we escape the cycle of fossil fuel addiction.

Alternatives, like renewables and nuclear power, must be allowed to become the dominant component of our energy mix.

Only radical reform now will give us the best chance in the long run of keeping the lights on at a price that doesn’t wreck our economy over and over again.

What we are experiencing is what has been caused by the approach he supports.  He shares the blame.  As a Eurofanatic he actively supports EU actions that are driving up our energy costs, yet is putting all the blame on the energy companies.  Lhuhne as a renewablesfanatic supports the exorbitant cost of renewables subsidies, and the forcing of the energy companies to purchase all power produced by the turbines regardless of their cost.  He has long been rigidly opposed to state subsidy for nuclear power and continues to be.  But reality is starting to bite and now he is calling for more nuclear which is reliable, despite putting our money into renewables that are not.

So where is this radical reform he speaks of?  It’s nice to see Lhuhne talking about the best chance of ‘keeping the lights on’.  According to his own party leader, Nick Clegg, there was no evidence that there’s going to be a terrible energy gap and that the lights are going to go out in the middle of the next decade.  Chris doesn’t seem to agree with Nick any more.  But the problem is the climate change lunacy, the obsession with unreliable and intermittant wind power, the regulations and obligations imposed on us by the political class  is wrecking our economy already and plunging millions of people needlessly into fuel poverty.

Huhne’s attempts to point the finger at the energy companies, who are forced to deliver on government policy, must not be allowed to wash.  The buck stops with him and his ideologue pals who have accelerated our descent into chaos and exacerbated the problems he claims to be refusing to stand by and watch happen.

Huhne does not have the solution.  He is a major part of the bloody problem.

Cameron’s emissions folly will cost us dear

Here we go again, yet another personal intervention by David Cameron.  We can but hope this intervention goes the same way as his previous efforts as this concerns the reduction of evil, poisonous carbon emissions.

BBC climate overlord, Roger ‘the truth is’ Harrabin, reports that:

David Cameron has moved to resolve a Cabinet row over the UK’s climate change targets, with an agreement on emissions to be announced on Tuesday.

This will see drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to 2027 and an overhaul of the way energy is produced.

The upshot of this is that our wallets and purses are going to raided, leaving us impoverished due to a plan to address something that remains unproven as a problem, in order to correct an issue the remains unproven as being of our making.  But it makes the politicians feel better about themselves because they are seen to be ‘doing something’ and it keeps the ‘green extreme’ happy as this represents another step forward in their plan to de-industrialise the western world and reverse centuries of progress.

It should come as no surprise that joining our husky-hugging multi millionaire Prime Minister in this grand plan is the sopping wet hand wringer Oliver Letwin.  But the stand out part of the article concerns born again Eurofanatic, William Hague, described by Harrabin thus:

Meanwhile Foreign Secretary William Hague put the case for strong carbon targets to keep up with countries like China in the move towards low-carbon energy, and to retain the UK’s international moral leadership on the issue.

If only we were trying to keep up with China, which is building a new coal fired power stations at an incredible rate and apparently deploying carbon capture technology, while here we suffer from the folly of wind farms producing barely 19% of installed capacity potential.

We need more power that is reliable, which the Chinese are finally delivering for their own people. But instead we are scaling back reliable power generation to appease green extremism.  The cost to this country of the flawed policy agenda, built upon vested interests, will dwarf anything that has gone before.

But the political class presses ahead with their fingers in their ears, knowing that at least they can afford to pay the bills even if many of the rest of us consider turning off the heating when it is cold because of their inability to pay the rapidly rising prices – driven up by lunatic political decisions rather than the cost of the energy itself.

Angela Merkel’s nuclear kneejerk and green spin

‘Japan crisis: Germany to speed up nuclear energy exit’ booms the BBC headline today as the anti nuclear onslaught continues following the multiple reactor crisis at Fukushima.

The story explains how German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced a ‘measured exit’ from nuclear power in response to the crisis affecting four reactors in Japan.  Stating that the Japanese disaster meant it could no longer be ‘business as usual’ in Germany – a country renowned for its earthquakes and tsunamis – Merkel told the Bundestag that the goal was:

…to reach the age of renewable energy as soon as possible.

It is an interesting goal given the reality of Germany’s current energy generation strategem which was covered briefly on this blog back in January.  For while Merkel tilts left in an attempt to appease the panicking nuclear-hating Greens, German energy policy shows a distinct lack of confidence in renewables to deliver the power needed in an industrialised country.

Just consider the extent of Germany’s new build coal fired power stations currently under construction, as detailed on EU Referendum, that shows that while Merkel is talking the talk on renewables she is not walking the walk:

– EVONIK, Walsum (Duisburg), 800 MW black coal (2010)
– RWE, Neurath (Cologne), 2 x 800 MW lignite (2009)
– RWE Westfalen (Dortmund-Hamm, 2 x 800 MW black coal (2011)
– EON Datteln (Dortmund), 1 x 1100 MW (!) black coal (2011)
– ENBW Karlsruhe, 1 x 800 MW black coal (2011)
– Trianel (municipality) Lünen, 1 x 800 MW black coal (2011)
– Vattenfall Moorburg (Hamburg), 2 x 800 MW black coal (2011)
– Vattenfall Boxberg (close to Leipzig), 1 x 800 MW lignite (2011)

The dates in brackets are the completion dates of the boilers (hydraulic testing and first fire).

While Germany’s significant investment in coal makes good sense Merkel’s pronouncement about a ‘measured exit’ from nuclear power is an example the worst kind of gesture politics.

It is worrying that a national leader resorts to disproportionate kneejerk policy borne of emotion rather than policy based on evidence.  By seeking to play up renewables on the one hand and greenwash the mainstay of energy generation capability on the other, Merkel is demonstrating the kind of hypocrisy that characterises the political class.

Oh for a politician who will set aside spin and tell it like it is on wind power.  Wind is not the panacea portrayed by the wind lobby and greenies, it remains a poor value and unreliable form of generation and only benefits the recipients of the lavish subsidies that look all the more disgraceful on those days when energy is needed but the turbines have no wind to turn them.

Lucky UK has a massive 40% of Big Wind!

A Guest post by Martin Brumby

“Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!”
(King Lear Act III)

I’m sure readers here will be aware that Big Wind’s advocates and defenders are weapons grade Porkie-Pie Men. Not even “Climate Scientists” can quite match them for sheer mendacity. A few days ago AM was kind enough to offer me a Guest Posting on Buff Huhne’s claim that we now produce 7% of our electricity from renewables.

Despite having to correct part of this (see comments), there’s nothing wrong with the conclusion that nothing like 7% of our electricity is renewable. More like 2 – 3%, and most of that is on warm, windy nights when we really don’t need it.

Today I thought I’d like to look at another common claim – the suggestion that the UK has 40% of Europe’s wind. I’m not sure that I can finger Buff Huhne or his egregious predecessor little Eddie Milipede with using this, although they may well have done. I’ve certainly heard it from one of the BBC’s Three Stooges. And a bit of searching on the internet throws up multiple instances of the claim:

40% of all the wind energy in Europe blows over the UK, making it an ideal country for small domestic turbines.”

“Did you know 40% of all the wind energy in Europe blows over the UK.?”

“Due to a combination of its latitude (at the boundary of the Ferrel and Polar Cells) and the lack of landmass in the prevailing south-westerly wind direction, the UK is fortunate to have much higher wind speeds than those in continental Europe. Indeed the BWEA has estimated that the UK has some 40% of the Europe’s total wind resource.” [Wot about Ireland? Isn’t that a landmass? M.B.]

“Wind energy has historically been converted into mechanical energy to pump water or grind grain but the principle application today is electricity generation. The UK receives 40% of Europe’s total wind energy but we currently generate only 0.5% of our electricity using wind.”

There’s load of these, all parroted but never with any citation or justification. But what’s this?

Downloading their dismal “Report” [Introduction:- Sir John Houghton, “Former Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” et al, partners and funders including the UEA and Mystic MET – your tax pounds at work] we read:-

“Wind is a vast energy source with an enormous job creation potential. The UK holds 40% of the EU’s total wind resource, but only 4.2% of its total installed capacity (Lambert, 2008).”

Hmmm. “Lambert, 2008” Surely that must be a proper, ‘peer-reviewed’ paper?  Well, not really. It turns out to be a bit of black propaganda by Jean Lambert, Green Party MEP for London.  She says:

“Clearly the UK has huge potential for investment in wind energy, and is the windiest country in Europe, with 40% of the EU’s entire wind resources. The British Wind Energy Association estimates that the UK could be meeting 35% of its electricity needs from wind by 2020.34 With the UK accounting for only 4.2% of the EU’s total installed wind power capacity, it’s hard not to see this as a hugely wasted opportunity and as a damning failure of Government.”

So where does Ms. Lambert get this gem from, the BWEA? Hmmm. That’s like taking advice on patient care from Dr. Harold Shipman. The BWEA is now the Renewable Energy World. And Lambert’s quoted “paper” seems to be this which contains:-

“The UK has 40 percent of Europe’s entire wind resource and with these abundant resources we should be a world leader in renewable energy generation,” said the statement from BWEA. “Although the UK currently trails behind our European partners’ levels of renewable generation, the UK has doubled its wind energy capacity over the past 20 months. The equivalent of 6 percent of the UK’s electricity supply remains held up in the planning system from onshore wind energy projects alone, which means the UK can meet its 2010 targets and set the stage to meet for more ambitious targets to 2020.”

No reference, no citation, no explanation, nothing. Obviously it is just a bold assertion. I give up. Who knows where this “40%” claim comes from? The leprechaun at the bottom of the garden?  And what does it actually mean?   I then turned to this.  This being Technical report No 6/2009 from the European Environment Agency. Your tax-pounds sent to Brussels at work.

Personally, I wouldn’t trust this outfit if they told me that Christmas day will fall on 25th December. And their “technical report” is replete with quotes from Greenpiss, clear evidence of data tortured until it confessed, computer models, the whole works.

First of all, what is meant by “Europe”? (click to enlarge)

That’s interesting. Turkey is in Europe. Iceland isn’t. Neither is Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine & Vatican City. How about Aland, Faroes, Gibraltar, Abkhazia, Transnistria and the rest? Who knows? Are the Azores & Canary Islands in with Portugal and Spain? Can’t be sure but probably not. Anyway, I haven’t found the raw data (or even the tortured data), but there are some charts… (click to enlarge)

Whilst there are some notes about some of the assumptions and ‘adjustments’ made, it all seems pretty unclear.  It isn’t ideal but it isn’t too difficult to scale off the charts, put the measurements into a spreadsheet, convert to TWh and see how much “Unrestricted technical potential” the EEA reckons there is.

They seem to think that this will amount to over 73,000 TWh in 2030, based on their idiosyncratic definitions of “Europe” and “technical potential”. And that the UK’s share of this “bonanza” will amount to around under 13% of this. Deleting Turkey, Switzerland and Norway (to make “Europe” equal to the “EU” reduces the total to 66,000 TWh and boosts our “share” to a stonking 14%. Even if we look only at “offshore” and restrict “Europe” to “the EU”, our share is only 21%.

So, forty percent? Absolutely no chance based on these charts.

Naturally, depending on your definition of “Europe”, the “UK”, and “Wind Energy” I guess you can prove anything you want to, especially if practical considerations (let alone commercial considerations) don’t matter. The fact that I haven’t found a sensible source for the 40% claim doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist somewhere. But this widely quoted Greenie claim looks like the usual dishonest hyperbole. And, in any case 40% of something that is eyewateringly expensive and almost completely useless is still not worth a fart.

Guest post by Martin Brumby

Chris Buff Huhne: “The Expert

So Buff Huhne announces the launch of “The 2050 Pathways Debate: having an energy-literate conversation about the UK’s options to 2050”.

Leading climate and energy experts will use the 2050 pathways calculator to present their personal view of how the UK can reduce its emissions by at least 80% by 2050, ahead of the online debate being opened to the wider public. Perhaps he has convinced himself that he is “energy-literate”?

It is interesting that when he introduced the Electricity Market Reforms Consultation to the House of Commons on 16 December 2010, Huhne stated:

The challenges and the opportunities are huge. Put simply, we face growing demand, shrinking supply and ambitious emissions reductions targets: demand for electricity could double by 2050 as we decarbonise the economy; 30% of our electricity must come from renewables by 2020—up from 7% today—to meet our contribution to the European Union’s renewable energy target; and in the next 10 years, a quarter of our existing power plants will need to be replaced, as nuclear and coal plants reach the end of their lives.

Of course The Luhnatic wants the 2020 target to be 30% (and the 2050 target to be 100%) – without Nuclear.  See the Lib Dims’ Election manifesto.  But it is interesting how he deliberately misleads the house of Commons in his statement. I refer to his phrase “up from 7% today”. Really?  Does this stand up to scrutiny?

Now Buff Huhne must be aware that the proportions of different electricity generation are (if you know where to find them) available on the web. This gives the amount of electricity fed into the grid half hour by half hour and figures for the last three months is available to download. At the time I’m writing this, Coal is producing around 41% of the total, gas 37%, nuclear 16% and so on. All the 3000+ wind turbines in the UK are managing just 0.7% – or a tenth of Buff Huhne’s figure.

(Click to enlarge)

So which is nearer the truth, 7%, 0.7%, or what?

It turns out that for 33 half-hour periods in the whole of 2010, the total of Big Wind and Hydro (which actually works, of course) managed 7% or more. Let’s be generous and assume he’s rounding up the figures. So 78 half-hour periods exceeded 6.5%, making 39 hours out of a total 8760 hours in the year. The figures are just fractionally better in you add in Pumped Storage, but to count PS as “renewable” means you can’t pump using fossil fuel electricity.

(Click to enlarge)

So Buff Huhne’s 7% claim isn’t just a bit hyped up. It is flat wrong.

Saying 7% of our electricty comes from renewables is about as accurate as my saying I spent all my time during 2010 having coitus. In both cases just wishful thinking I’m afraid. But we are the ones getting shafted by the Luhnatic and his “experts”.

Update: Please note an important correction I need to make here. It is detailed in this comment.  Apologies for the error.

The wind power money train rumbles on

A lovely piece of spin from New York as the custodians of the Empire State building have announced a deal to buy nearly 55 million kilowatt hours of renewable electricity a year to meet 100% of the building’s power needs.

Malkin Holdings have chosen the Green Mountain Energy Company to supply all its electricity from its portfolio of wind farms as part of the company’s latest effort to reduce the iconic building’s carbon footprint.

The electricity that flows into the building might have been generated by nuclear or coal power. It’s just that, as in the UK, you can choose who you buy from. As Green Mountain Energy produce electricity from wind Malkin can claim to be powering the Empire State building through wind power alone. There is no direct grid connection from Green Mountain Energy to the Empire State. The cost of making one would be prohibitively expensive and cause huge disruption to lay. But never mind that.

So what is behind Malkin’s move? A desire to save the planet and safeguard the environment from all that evil CO2? Worry not, Malkin have kindly explained the reasons:

Malkin president Anthony E. Malkin said the company’s trailblazing measures would allow the building to attract good tenants and charge higher rents.

“Clean energy and our nearly 40 per cent reduced consumption [..] gives us a competitive advantage in attracting the best credit tenants at the best rents,”  he said. “Our program of innovation at the Empire State Building shows simple, replicable, non-proprietary steps for other landlords to follow to be more energy efficient, cleaner and greener.”

And increase their profits. Driving up the rents of the tenants will result in the additional costs being passed on to the customers who buy their goods and services. But at least Malkin make more money out of it. It’s the green way.

As for Green Mountain Energy, they do not seem very popular with their customers, as the comments on this piece and here and here susggest.

Germany is such a green and pleasant land

With apologies to King James for reworking St Mark’s chapter and verse 10:25… It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a coal fired power station to be built the United Kingdom.

There are bountiful supplies of coal in stable countries which could secure our power needs for decades years while new reliable and efficient energy sources are developed. But no. We have to put up with the gurning lhuhnatic ensconced at the Dept of Energy and Climate Change muttering that coal is dirty and nuclear is dangerous and lavishing billions of our tax pounds on unreliable and inefficient wind turbines that produce barely 22% of their installed capacity.

Germany is often cited by the eco lhuhnes as an example of a forward thinking, green nation. But while we are conned into aspiring to Germany’s passion for renewables the reality of Germany’s energy strategy is carefully airbrushed from the script and the windmills trump all. Then suddenly it dawns on some that the things don’t work when they are most needed. As EU Referendum observes:

Gradually, though, the media is getting the point, and as the facts leach out, even the warmists in The Guardian are not going to be able to hold the line. But what is going to sink the warmist ship, one suspects, is the fickleness of our EU colleagues, who might be talking the talk on greenery but, on the other hand, they are investing heavily in coal. The particular culprit here is Germany, and we have recent acquired a list of new coal projects in the pipeline – listed below:

The amount of power the new German plants will generate, shown on EU Referendum, dwarfs the amount of energy the Con-Dem’s windmills will produce while being many times more cost effective.

The folly of the government’s energy policy demonstrates how ill served we are by the braingreenwashed ideologues whose fantasies are condemning us to a future of excessively expensive and unreliable energy. And it is being done on the basis of an illusory climate change ‘crisis’ supposedly driven by a trace gas, CO2, of which barely 5% of the atmospheric volume comes from mankind’s emissions.


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